The Caricaturist Brings Drawing Tutorials to Twitter!

STOP!

Before you begin, read the following WARNING!

This post is about Drawing Tutorials on Twitter, but we come to that part only at the end of this post. If you are a no-nonsense sort of person then you should scroll down immediately. Do it now, or you’ll be hooked to my personal tale of twitter agony!

You didn’t!
So, read on.

It all began with a question that I asked myself!

I asked:
Why am I on Twitter?

If you know the answer, please tell me, because I don’t. The follow-just-for-the-heck-of-it suits neither my smart visitors nor me.

I’ll be truthful. I am not a celebrity and so people aren’t really dying to catch a glimpse of me kissing Madonna (Yuck! I am not linking that one. You’ve seen enough of those – right?) nor are they tripping over each other’s shoes to see what I wore to the party last night. Actually, I am a 70- ft- down-(in)to-earth person who spends about two hours trying to find the right lead for her mechanical pencils and comes home lugging about two dozen lead boxes in all sizes and darkness-levels!

So…obviously my tweets would have nothing to offer to you.
You want to tell me that I am being too critical…?
Nah!
You want tweets that are entertaining and fun…and which add that little extra to your life. The little extra…you know, like mayonnaise on toast or mustard on pizza?

Let’s face it…

  • What use to you is a fortnightly tweet that tells you that I forgot to switch off the stove and that another pan gave its life for the cause of art? (I could templatize the tweet and use it again and again and again…until I turn old and gray…or until twitter loses its glitter!)
  • What use to you is a daily tweet that tells you that I’m going for a shower? Unless of course, I lose my mind completely and webcast the shower itself, including my slipping on a cake of soap and skidding through the length of the bathroom…rest censored – no gory accidents will ever be narrated on this blog.)
  • Or for that matter, what use is a diurnal tweet which tells you that I just brushed my teeth and had a hard time pulling out the piece of mint that got stuck in the recess between my upper front teeth?

Had I been a celebrity (say, I were Lady Gaga or Angelina Jolie, or even Hitler,) you might be interested in reading what I tweeted (the past tense for tweet isn’t twat – for obvious reasons. If the reasons aren’t obvious to you, follow this link.)

If I were a close friend or even a prospective sweetheart, you would’ve wanted to read all about me scratching my head, sneezing three times in a row, or even yawning until tears filled my eyes while I typed in the tweet. But as I am none of these…there’s no reason on earth that should prompt you to read my 140-character (pshaw!) tweets!

Now what?

  1. Let us use Twitter for something more sensible!
  2. Let us use TWITTER to LEARN DRAWING!

Yes!

Drawing Tutorials by TheCaricaturist on Twitter:

This is how we go about it.
I shall make a series of tweets against a topic. These tweets will list the steps that will help you create a particular drawing. Each month, I could publish 1-2 tutorials, and you could go through them on the move. We’ll call these tweets, tuto-tweets!

Find @TheCaricaturist on Twitter. We begin tomorrow!

An Important Post-script:

If you are wondering whether I really can give you tips on how to draw well, the following links may help your decision-making.

1000 awesome things by Neil Pasricha – Spread the Smile!

This morning, I logged into my email for a pleasant surprise. There was a news-byte about this hugely successful Toronto-based blogger (turned “published” writer) Neil Pasricha, who wrote about One Awesome Thing a Day, to change many awful days into awesome ones for a lot of people!

Here’s his blog: http://1000awesomethings.com/

I went through some of his “daily” posts and I enjoyed them. Though you might not like the hit-counter critter but when it displays a figure of 15,453,324 hits, you begin to like the look of it:)

He has already talked about 505 awesome little things that made him feel that life was worth living (especially when he was down in the dumps,) so we still can look forward to another 495 (He began by counting-down from 1000)!

So…smile…and Spread the Smile!

Caricature/Cartoon – Lady Gaga’s Weird Hermaphrodite-ish Outfits & The Spider Colony!

(If you are interested in  “How to Draw Lady Gaga’s Caricature” and reading a verbal caricature on her “Bad Romance”, click here. – Updated: September 15, 2010)

I wouldn’t have caricatured Lady Gaga. Being tone-deaf, I can’t claim to know much about music or music makers. They seem magical to me. They make some sort of sounds, using their voice-boxes and other musical instruments, that people like to listen to. I can’t understand it at all, and so I steer clear of music-makers and music. At best music doesn’t make sense to me, at worst, it gives me a headache! But once in a while, someone like Lady Gaga makes music and then makes news, and then the caricaturist in me wakes up and wonders, “Who was the caricaturist who created her?”

Cartoon Caricature Portrait Drawing of Lady Gaga with her weird hairstyle

Hermaphrodite or Robotaphrohermit?!

So, this was my take on Ms. Gaga. I didn’t have to do much, as you can see. However, I had to study a lot. I had to know the Lady behind the Gaga. So I went cyber-digging and what I found made me respect this little bundle of sound waves. She’s just 24…and she’s already made enough waves of all kinds!

Lady Gaga – Her Biography

Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986. Her first album was released in 2008, when she was 22…and so her rise to fame can be considered no less than meteoric! In this album (called “The Fame”) were two songs “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” which made people lose their heads. This album got six Grammy Award Nominations and won two of them. According to what I read in Wikipedia,

“In May 2010, Time magazine included Gaga in its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.”

In 2009, she released her second album called “The Fame Monster.” In 2009 she also did two tours “The Fame Ball Tour” and the “Monster Ball Tour”.

Lady Gaga – Her Name

Her name was given to her by a word processing software (MS Word?). Radio Ga Ga a song by Queen was auto-corrected to Lady Gaga. Now that’s interesting. She’s a true techno-kid…all chipped-up and plugged-in!

Lady Gaga – A Hermaphrodite?

Is Lady Gaga a hermaphrodite?
To understand this question, you first need to know what the term Hermaphrodite means.

Here’s a definition:

“A person born with diminished sexual organs of both sexes as a result of a genetic anomaly, and therefore has physical sexual traits and characteristics in between that of a man or a woman. The hermaphroditic individual is usually incapable of reproduction.”

(Source: www.ifsha.org/glossary.htm)
So is she…a Herm…whatever, I mean!

  • Lady Gaga looks like a woman – I think.
  • Lady Gaga kisses Madonna like a man – I think.
  • Lady Gaga dresses like a robot – I think.

Thus,
I think she isn’t a hermaphrodite, but a robotaphrohermit! Now, what does that mean? Go Figure!
(But please note that Ms. Gaga has confirmed that she is a woman!)

In fact, when she was compared to Christina Aguilera, Christina Aguilera raised similar doubts about Lady Gaga’s true gender. It’s quite possible that the whole gender thing was started by Christina and it was driven by professional envy!

Lady Gaga – Her weird outfits

The Lady’s crazy outfits made her think that she suffered from a rare disease called Lupus – or so they say.
See her pictures here.
She almost fainted in one of her shows and this led to speculations about her having Lupus but it’s also speculated that her outfit might’ve been responsible for it.

Lady Gaga – Tattoos

She’s tattooed all-over. If you want to check out her tattoos, you must visit this link here.

Do you think she competes with our Tattooed and the Pierced one?

Other things:

  • She’s left-handed.
  • She’s a Gay Icon.
  • She used to be on drugs and she’s confessed.

“Gaga confessed to the Times that she recently suffered from heart palpitations and was forced to call emergency services in Tokyo as she was having trouble breathing.”

(Source)

PS:
According to the Spider News channel, before every performance done by Lady Gaga, the plots in the upcoming head-dress are auctioned away!

(If you are interested in  “How to Draw Lady Gaga’s Caricature” and reading a verbal caricature on her “Bad Romance”, click here. – Updated: September 15, 2010)

Updated February 16, 2011: Lady Gaga hatches from an egg, at the 2011 Grammys!

Cool Caricaturist – Don Pinsent

Don Pinsent’s self-caricature inspired me to explore his work in detail…and when I did, his sketches had me stumped! The boldness of his lines and his ability to maintain the characteristic expression of his subjects despite applying extreme exaggerations, is awesome.

To the learners and the admirers of the quirky art of caricature, I recommend:

Do view his following finished works:


…and the following visualization sketches:

Facebook Campaign “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” banned – Oh Well!

When a Facebook user launches a competition “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” Facebook is banned in Pakistan. Now Facebook shall stay banned in Pakistan until May 31st (at least.)

When the Jyllands-Posten or the JP publishes 12 Prophet Mohammed Caricatures (drawn by 12 different Danish Cartoonists) on September 30, 2005, it leads to protests throughout the Muslim world.

When Michelle Obama’s caricature appears on Google Search, Google is brought in line and it removes the caricature from its search (something that doesn’t match up to Google’s policy of “not manipulating” the results.)

You know what drawing a caricature means to the artist?
It means that the artist thinks that the subject of the caricature is important to him or her. The caricaturist spends time trying to perfect those lines, trying to get them to speak…so why caricature someone who doesn’t matter to you – or who matters only to the point that you wish to ridicule him or her?

Spend your energy drawing people who matter to you. Create caricatures for the joy of drawing them; not for joining in a mindless orgy of ridicule. Someone launches a competition and calls it a “campaign for free speech” – and you leave everything else and jump into the fray. Who wins? The person who organized the competition! Who competes? Everyone with a stub of a pencil and tons of free time on their hands!

Nevertheless, my best wishes to all those brave artists, non-artists, caricaturists, non-caricaturists…effectively, everyone with a pencil and paper, who is helping the cause of free speech.

My caricature bows to you.

Cartoon/Caricature – Albert Einstein – The Greatest Scientist of the Twentieth Century.

Can you trace Einstein’s thoughts?
My take?!
“Why did I get the Nobel for the discovery of Photoelectric effect and not for the Theory of Relativity?”

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Drawing of Albert Einstein, the greatest mind of the twentieth century, who won a nobel prize for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.

Why? I wonder.

Albert Einstein is probably the most caricatured scientist. His appearance has helped artists create the stereotype of the absent-minded genius yet somewhat crazy scientist of our science-fiction stories and movies.

Biographical Information – Albert Einstein

Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, in the German Empire. His father was an engineer and a salesman, who started his own electrical goods company in 1880. This company manufactured equipment that used direct current, and it went out of business 14 years later, when alternating current became the order of the day. Einstein was born in an affluent family (check out his childhood pictures – photographs don’t lie,) and so he received home-tutoring from Max Talmud, who ate with the Einsteins every Thursday, and in exchange (apparently,) he tutored Einstein in Science, Math, and Philosophy.

In his early years, Einstein had speech difficulties (really?), but otherwise he was a bright student, and so he obviously was also a rebel. Though Einstein lived and worked in Berlin for a long time, in 1933, the persecution of Jews led to Einstein moving out of Berlin and emigrating to the US. (This tells us that Einstein wasn’t just an average nerdy genius, he was a smart genius!)

Read Albert Einstein’s biography here.

Einstein’s Head & Brain:

  • Einstein’s head, according to his mother, was extremely large and angular at the back.
  • Einstein’s brain was removed without his family’s permission (stolen?) when he died. His brain was then sliced into pieces by Mr. Harvey, the pathologist who had removed the brain from his body, “in the interest of science.” He concluded that his brain had developed differently from that of others. (How else could he justify his nefarious deed?)

Einstein’s Love Life:

There were at least three serious relationships in Einstein’s life. The first happened when he was a mere lad of seventeen – he fell in love with his landlord’s daughter. Next, he fell in love with Milveca Maric at the University and married her. Finally, he divorced Milveca after 11 years of marriage, and married Elsa Lowenthal – who he had been romantically involved with, even while he was married to Milveca. (Being the genius he was, I guess problematic relationships are expected of him – if nothing else, they enhance his aura.)

Facts:

Einstein’s Thoughts / Quotes:

Upon Death: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”

Upon Religion: “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.”

Upon being Recognized on the Streets: “Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein.”

Here are some more interesting quotes from Einstein:

  • Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. (It’s only responsible for people falling –  people are themselves responsible for selecting the location of the fall.)
  • The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. (Yes, of course…and the equations of the Brownian Motion are the easiest!)
  • The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. (Ah well! Dear Mr. Da Vinci,  please reveal your sources.)
  • Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. (I guess this is what you called Relativity?)
  • Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe. (The fact that we quote this, proves something about human stupidity – doesn’t it?)
  • I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. (Thanks for the prophecy, Dr. Einstein! We’ll march straight into World War IV!)

Source: (http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html)

Read more about Einstein at: http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/einstein/life/index.php

The Caricaturist is coming Back to the Future!

Dear Visitors,

Today I shall be posting the caricature of Albert Einstein – the greatest mind of the twentieth century…so do stop by again, in about 12 hours or so:-)

Additionally, you can either subscribe to this blog’s posts (top right corner in the side bar) or follow my tweets @theCaricaturist.

I know that the regular visitors to this blog must be wondering whether the caricaturist would ever return to the present – and more specifically, to Hollywood. The good news is that I’ve discovered my lost time travel marker (refer to “Timeline” by Michael Crichton) and I’ll be back by next week.

Until then, my friends, check out the Caricature Gallery and also the Celebrity Calendar links. The aspiring caricaturists are welcome to check out the book – How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist!

And yes, if you’d like to use any of the caricatures from this blog on yours, you can use them for free – as always there’s a small catch…find the catch at the Permissions page here.

Warm Regards,

Shafali

Caricature/Cartoon – Sir Isaac Newton Doesn’t find his Inspiration in Heaven!

Sir Isaac Newton – the Greatest Scientist the world has ever seen!
You know what his favorite fruit was. Right?

Caricature, Cartoon, and Drawing of Sir Isaac Newton (the Laws of Motion fame) is unhappy with his breakfast! The Apple is missing!

Is this because I refused the sacrament?

Newton’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

  • 1643: He was born on January 4th (I share my birthday with him. Can you see me basking in this faint sliver of reflected glory? Good. Elementally speaking, within you is a caricaturist struggling to break free – let it out.)
  • Somewhere around 1655, he was bullied by a boy at school, challenged the bully, won the fight, and transformed from a dullard into a genius. (So shouldn’t the bully get some credit too?)
  • Circa 1660: The apple fell in a garden somewhere in Lincolnshire(?) and Newton (probably) saw it fall.
  • 1671: He completed the book “Method of Fluxions”
  • 1687: He published Principia Mathematica.
  • 1705: Knighted by Queen Anne and became Sir Isaac Newton.
  • 1721: He died a bachelor. His death could’ve been caused by Mercury-poisoning. (Woof!)

Newton’s Principal Works:

  • Universal Gravitation
  • The Three Laws of Motion
  • The First Reflecting Telescope
  • Differential & Integral Calculus (Read about the Newton-Leibniz controversy in the “Myths Broken by Isaac Newton” section.)
  • Newton’s Method for finding the roots of a function.

Myths Broken by Isaac Newton:

Here are some myths that he’s broken.

Graffiti is bad and only goons deface public buildings.
Wrong. The great scientists of the world do it too. Guess defacement of buildings and inventions both result from the same attitude – to challenge the existing – be it norms or knowledge.
What Newton did to a window sill in his school (King’s School) can be seen here.

Great minds don’t do well in School.
Newton did. Mostly to spite another guy in his class when he was at school.

Together we can do great things.
Hah. Check out the greats – including Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci. The greats were always in controversy. Often with those that they once were quite chummy indeed. Read about the bitter war between Newton and Leibniz (yes – of the Differential Calculus fame) here. With intelligence following a normal distribution, obviously, greatness isn’t a community thing!

Note: This controversy also inspired the book “The Baroque Cycle” by Neal Stephenson.

Newton and His Humility:

His epitaph was written by the noted English poet Alexander Pope. It reads:

Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.

(I am sure that Newton’s scientific mind must’ve appreciated the simplicity of the verse – I am surprised that it isn’t twisted beyond shape with thou, thee, and thy! My apologies to William Shakespeare.)

Newton did know how to manage the media by speaking humbly (a trait much in demand even today.) Here’s what he had to say about his own achievements:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

An Important Tip for all Future Celebrities:

It’s important – very important, for all celebrities to sound humble. Even if you are a great – you need the support of the un-greats, because when god was distributing wrath he wasn’t partial at all. I leave the rest to your interpretation. My recommendation – follow Newton’s footsteps.

Newton’s Religious Beliefs:

As most people who have more to do than others, Newton didn’t spend his personal time on religion – however, he also realized how he could be declared a “heretic” if he didn’t put up with the appearances – and so he did. Thus, he wrote about religion (Da Vinci too painted for the Church) – In those times, you had to keep the church in good humor if you wanted to achieve anything worthwhile.

Historian Stephen D. Snobelen says of Newton,
“Isaac Newton was a heretic. But … he never made a public declaration of his private faith — which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unravelling his personal beliefs.”
– Source: Wikipedia.

(The scholars, of course, aren’t inventors and so they can spend their time unravelling Newton’s personal beliefs – and The Caricaturist, of course, again isn’t doing anything of earth-shaking importance, and she can write and wonder about the greats – thanks to the scholars. It’s all like an onion, you see.)

I believe that what you do when death comes prancing, is what defines your religious beliefs – everything else is just self-concept. Despite the appearance that Newton put up, he refused to take the holy orders and the sacrament. True beliefs surface at death – because then there’s no need to put up appearances for this world.  Whatever you do, you do to make your future better. When you shake hands with death, you either see a future that your “specific” religious scriptures have outlined for you – or you see nothing – and it all depends on your true belief. Newton’s true belief, in all probability was that there was nothing beyond!

This of course, is a caricature blog and not a place to discuss life, death, and beliefs; so I leave you with your thoughts and with the caricature of the man who reportedly saw more than the giants that he so humbly spoke of, as he stood on their shoulders. With his intelligence he would’ve known what his statement meant – exactly.

By the way, a 4 inch sliver from the original apple tree (did he indeed remember the tree from which the apple fell? is it documented somewhere?) is now going into space (aboard the space-ship Atlantis.) Read the story here.


Chapter 8 – How to Draw Caricatures – Caricaturing the Lips and the Mouth Published

How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist” grows by another chapter. “Chapter 8 – Caricaturing the Lips and the Mouth“, enables you to classify the lips and helps you understand the process of exaggerating them. It also provides some useful tips that can help you out of some caricaturing lip-locks (oops! I meant deadlocks!)

If you subscribe to this blog’s posts, you must already be receiving your regular updates on the book; but if you aren’t, I invite you to click the Subscribe button at the top right corner of this blog.

Here’s how far the book has progressed.

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. ‘

 

Sidebar Image - Cover - Evolution of a Caricaturist - A Book on How to Draw Caricatures - by Shafali Anand

 

It has about 150 pages, more than 70 illustrations, and discusses about 3 dozen celebrity faces. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

The Evolution of a Caricaturist

The book is more than halfway through (about two-thirds,) and I should say that it wouldn’t have made it this far if it weren’t for your support. When you visit this blog, view the caricatures, read the book, and communicate with me; you inspire me to draw another caricature, or to write another chapter of the book. Thank you my dear visitors, friends, and readers – for helping me make this book happen.

The next two caricatures to appear on this blog are…

Would you care to guess?
Here are the clues:
1. Curious anatomists weighed his brain when he died. Who was he?
2. He explained why we are so down-to-earth! Who was he?

I shall await your answers:)

Warm Regards,
Shafali

How to Draw the Caricature of Jack Nicholson – The Wolf

Two caricatures have challenged me like no other. They are Jack Nicholson’s and George Clooney’s – however, the reasons that made them challenging were diametric opposites.

Before I tell you more, here’s the caricature that we’ll be discussing today.

Jack Nicholson the wolf caricature - as good as it gets!

Jack Nicholson’s face has a lot of elements that can be caricatured, while George Clooney has but one (his chin.) Thus, with Jack Nicholson’s caricature, I faced the problem of plenty. Yes, the same problem that plagues rich kids of rich dads (does it remind you of a Ms. Hilton?) – they don’t know what to do with what they have – and so they go through their lives baffled and uneasy. Jack Nicholson’s face to a caricaturist is like Paris Hilton’s rich dad. Really. His dreamy eyes, his deriding mocking smile, his crazy untidy hair, his strong dimpled chin, and of course, his poking-fun-at-you eyebrows! I was a confused caricaturist who had plenty to play around with and who wanted to splurge at everything and anything.

It is at moments such as these that self-restraint becomes a quality in a caricaturist. Instead of following my instincts blindly, I organized my thoughts and decided to exaggerate the brows and the chin more than I exaggerated the other features. I felt that these two features set his face apart from others’.

Here’s how I drew the caricature of Jack Nicholson.

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson’s Eyes

As I said, Jack Nicholson’s eyes have that dreamy drunken look, which seems to mock everyone they look at. The look seems to tell them, “I know better!”
I exaggerated the differences between his left and right eyes. I also gave him a slightly sideways glance to capture and exaggerate the look in his eye. Note that I haven’t played around with the shape of his eyes much. (Read “Caricaturing the Eyes” here.)

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson’s Jaw and Chin

The shape of Jack Nicholson’s face can be best classified as pentagonal (though his chin is heavy, somewhat squarish, and not too pointed, it is very prominent.) I pulled all the anchor points and the mirror points out of the feature frame, with all my might. In fact, I could well caricature myself having lost my foothold as I dangled from the mirror points on his jaw – trying to use all my weight to pull those points lower and wider, making his chin about three times his nose. (Read “Caricaturing the Shape of the Face” here.)

(Note: if the terms anchor points, mirror points, and feature frame make your eyebrows rise up in the middle (in other words, makes you wonder), you need to check out the Free Online book “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist”!)

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson – the Wolf’s Hair

Once again, I didn’t do much with the hair. I went for his slightly Wolf-y look and made his hair look a little rougher through some truly violent strokes of my pencil. I wanted them to look like the hair on a badger’s much talked about behind (or what I imagine the hair on a badger’s behind to be – discover in this funny poem here.)

And…finally,

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson’s Eyebrows

Honestly, his eyebrows look like he’s got them cello-taped to his forehead. Probably he has, but I couldn’t find enough evidence to support my hypothesis. I did contemplate taping his eyebrows up, but upon some reflection I discarded the idea. I wasn’t caricaturing Frankenstein’s monster, I was caricaturing a good-looking Hollywood Celebrity, who despite his years can make women swoon! So up went the brows – they got pierced and got those golden rings. (Read “Caricaturing the Brows & Brow-ridge” here.)

Caricaturing the Birds

When I was ready with the strings, the birds just flew in. They began chirping and I turned my translator on. Aha. On the sly, Jack Nicholson employs birds that keep his brows hitched up…nobody knew – until now. But now, the secret is out!

Here are some other things to do:

Have fun caricaturing:-) Spread the Smile!

Caricature/Cartoon – Hercule Poirot the Belgian Detective of Agatha Christie’s Novels Sells Apartments in Rodentia.

Welcome to Rodentia, where the wall in Hercule Poirot’s room offers the Poirot View Luxury Apartments, to the Rich Mice!

A caricature, cartoon, drawing of the Little Belgian Detective, Hercule Poirot, by Agatha Christie.

He still sells…

Hercule Poirot is the famous Belgian Detective, with an egg-shaped head complete with billions of overactive gray cells; who prefers to solve crimes not by running around with a hand lens (Note that the snide remark is directed towards a Mr. Sherlock Holmes, also in the same profession – professional jealousy doesn’t just plague real people like you and me!)

Biography of Hercule Poirot, the Little Belgian Detective

Here’s a short biography of Mr. Poirot.

Hercule Poirot was born with an egg-shaped head and a handle-bar moustache, in 1920, in the detective novel called “The Mysterious Affair at Styles.” He was also born with Captain Hastings in tow (much like Dr. Watson, who was Holmes’ dear derided friend.)

Despite his popularity with the readers, Poirot was not at good terms with his mother, Agatha Christie. In fact, 10 years after Poirot was born, he was called “insufferable” by her, and by the time he turned forty, she had turned completely against him. She called him, a “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep“!

Poirot was short (3 inches shorter than Napoleon Bonaparte who was “actually” 5 feet 7 inches.) His head could be confused for an ostrich’s egg, and his moustaches for a handlebar! He had a manic urge to straighten everything around him, he was punctual and fastidious, and he always carried a turnip pocket watch with him.

He had a secretary Ms. Lemon who was hopelessly left-brained and so could be relied upon completely by Poirot.

Poirot died in 1975 and his obituary was published in the New York Times (Aug 6). His was the first obituary of a fictional character to be published in the New York Times.

Poirot’s Literary Journey:

Hercule Poirot appeared in 33 novels and 51 short stories (1920 – 1975.)
Some of these are:

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  • The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
  • The Kidnapped Prime Minister
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train
  • Death on the Nile
  • The Labors of Hercules (A Collection of 12 stories)
  • Elephants can Remember

(Find the complete List of the Hercule Poirot Novels here. )

Hercule Poirot in Movies and Television:

Agatha Christie: Poirot (A TV Series)

Blog posts about Hercule Poirot:

Winners of the Storytelling Contest – April 2010.

The Winners are:

Vivienne Tuffnell (of the “Strangers & Pilgrims” fame.) (The Story)
Dewey Dewster (The K9 Journalist from Petsburg, Pawsylvania.) (The Story)
Lua Fowles (The personification of enthusiasm.) (The Story)

If you are wondering what this is all about – last week I had announced a storytelling contest around the following caricature.

Caricature, Cartoon, or image of a man with beaded beard and piercings, scolding a mouse carrying a rifle or a gun.

What's the Story?

I should tell you that storytelling of this kind is a different ballgame altogether. You need to knead your creativity and then shape it into a story that fits the given mold. It isn’t an easy task. In fact, storytelling of this kind can make veteran storytellers lose their nerve.

So when these three courageous authors decided to take the challenge – I was pleasantly surprised:)

I am proud to present the following three story writers, their stories, and their blogs to you:)

Author: Vivienne Tuffnell

Blog: Zen & The Art of Tightrope Walking

Vivienne is a writer, who has recently published her book, “Strangers & Pilgrims“. I believe that this book has the ability to mend broken hearts. (Read my review of the book here and read her Interview here.) If you haven’t read it the book yet, read it:) It’s there on my sidebar. I am happy that Vivienne wrote this beautiful story – it strengthened my belief that one day she’s going to dazzle the world. Thanks Viv.

Author: Dewey Dewster

Blog: Love those Wires (of course, we love those wires:-))

Dewey is a K9 Journalist who works from Petsburg, Pawsylvania in the summers, and from Furry Florida in the winters. He lives with his Gram, Gramp, Mom, and Toby. Gram n Gramp are of the human variety while Mom n Toby are two beautiful WFTs. Dewey doesn’t like rats…so if I had a hat to doff, I’d doff it to his strength of character, which prevented him from snatching Mr. Mouse off the caricature and gobbling him up! Thanks Dewey.

Author: Lua Fowles

Blog: Like a Bowl of Oranges

Lua and her blog, both are “like a bowl of oranges” – they’ve got thoughts that are fresh and that smell so nice. Lua is a young woman with a very strong feel of life. She has the ability to see stories in the most mundane things around – and then she also has to the capability to tell those stories. Lua’s creativity isn’t restricted to her stories, even her blog-posts make you think. Thanks Lua.
I would like to thank these three authors for their courage and interest in the contest. I would also like to thank all those visitors who clicked their links to read the stories:)

Warm Regards,
Shafali

PS: Next I plan to post Poirot’s caricature:)